The crash took place at the Campbell County Airport, also known as the Col. Tommy C. Stiner Airfield, a sheriff’s office spokesperson said.
According to preliminary information from the National Transportation Security Board, an Aeronca 7AC airplane crashed around 12:15 p.m. on Monday. The plane was taking off from the airport according to the mayor.
The pilot who died in the crash was identified as Jimmy Cole.
The airport is expected to be shut down for some time. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
“We are prayerful for the family of the pilot and we hope to have more information at the conclusion of the FAA and NTSB investigations,” said Morton.
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An NTSB investigator is expected to be on the scene late Monday or early Tuesday to document the scene and begin the investigation. A typical NTSB investigation can take 12-24 months to complete and determine a cause, a spokesperson said.
The sheriff’s office is still working to learn more about the crash and keep the site unchanged until the NTSB arrives. WATE 6 On Your Side has a crew on the scene.
Morton added that this is the first crash to happen at the airport since the 1960s.
According to the airport’s website, it is used in a variety of ways, including personal travel on smaller aircraft, business travel, and recreational flying.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with additional information.